HC Deb 29 June 1938 vol 337 cc2064-7

10.58 p.m.

Mr. Turton

I beg to move, in page 33, line 7, to leave out "Bacon Marketing," and to insert "Development."

At present the power to quote factories is left in the hands of the Bacon Marketing Board, although they are to act under directions given by the Development Board. I suggested on the Committee stage that that should be in the hands of the Development Board, and not the Bacon Marketing Board, because the whole question of the quota of factories is one which affects not merely the interests of the curer but the interests of the producer. The effect of giving the Bacon Marketing Board power to quota factories, we found under the old scheme, was that when a factory had got its original quota from the Bacon Development Board it sometimes had that quota cut down drastically by the Bacon Marketing Board. I will recall what happened to the Yorkshire factory two or three years ago, when it went to the Development Board and got a quota of 150,000 pigs a year, and that was cut down by the Marketing Board to the ludicrous figure of 50,000—less than 30 per cent. That sort of behaviour is not in the interest of the pig and bacon industry as a whole. You must have one policy carried out by one body. Under Clause 9 we give the Development Board power to fix the maximum amount cured in any factory, and the logical conclusion from that is that the Development Board and not the Bacon Marketing Board, should have the power to fix these quotas.

Colonel Ponsonby

I beg to Second the Amendment.

11 p.m.

Mr. W. S. Morrison

My hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton) will not expect me at this stage of the evening to go into the actual specific cases he mentioned with regard to the Yorkshire factory. There is another reason besides the lateness of the evening why I do not enter upon that matter, and it is perhaps an even better reason, that I am quite ignorant of the facts of the case myself. He must not argue from his experience of the past as to what is to happen under the new organisation. The Bacon Marketing Board is coming now under the direction of the Development Board, a point which he was able to concede at the opening of his argument. That makes for a different state of affairs from that of which he complained this evening. He said that in that case he had a better offer from the Development Board than from the Bacon Board, but now the Bacon Board will be coming under the direction of this relatively more generous body, and consequently he can rest assured that the position will be now as he wants it. I can only say that it has been the desire of the Government in framing this new structure that matters of policy should be for the Development Board and matters of administration for the Marketing Boards. The policy of quota allocation is for the Development Board, but the administration for the Bacon Marketing Board.

I would point out a very relevant consideration, and one which certainly appeals to me strongly, and that is the consideration of economy. If you are going to ask the Development Board to carry out this duty, they will have to duplicate their staff in order to carry out the work the Bacon Board could carry out without additional expenditure and duplication. of staff. When one remembers that the expenses of these boards are borne by the industry, this House should be careful not to vote any measures to make the expenses of administration more than they need be. I hope that my hon. Friends will accept the assurance that, in bringing the Bacon Board under the direction of the Development Board, matters of which they complained in the past will not arise, and that in the interests of economy and efficiency they will leave the matter where it is.

Mr. Turton

In view of the argument on the ground of economy, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. Leonard

I wish to move an Amendment, in page 33, line 26, to leave out "Bacon Marketing," and to insert "Development." On the last occasion that I intervened it was to deal with the question of penalties, and this Amendment deals with a similar aspect of the matter. On that occasion I dealt with circumstances under which we took matters before the court for penalties to be imposed. The Amendment on this occasion does not do that. The Subsection which I propose to amend states specifically: If any registered curer produces or sells any bacon in contravention of any determination of the Bacon Marketing Board under this Section, that board shall by resolution impose upon, and shall recover from, him a monetary penalty not exceeding one hundred pounds or five pounds for each hundredweight of bacon so produced or sold, whichever is the larger. The intention of the Amendment is that it shall be a penalty imposed by an independent body. It must be within the recollection of many Members of the House that this has caused considerable difficulty already in marketing schemes functioning that that they should appear to impose penalties. The Government themselves have seen fit to institute a special committee of investigation, and, therefore—

Mr. Turton

On a point of Order. Is not this Amendment consequential upon my Amendment, and, therefore, as my Amendment has been withdrawn, it must be out of order to suggest an Amendment of this kind.

Mr. Leonard

Is it not the case that the Amendment which has already been withdrawn dealt with quotas only, and that this deals with penalties?

Mr. Speaker

I thought that the hon. Member's Amendment was consequential.

Mr. Leonard

My impression was that the first part dealt with the power to modify, and that the difference arose between two bodies dealing with the same quota.

Mr. H. G. Williams

The hon. Member suggests that the word "Board" in line 27 should have the word "Development" put in front of it.

Mr. W. S. Morrison

The hon. Member had put his name to the Amendment moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton), and this Amendment would be perfectly proper as a consequential Amendment to that, but in the absence of the words of the previous Amendment, which has been withdrawn, there would be no determination by the Development Board.

Mr. Leonard

After that explanation I beg pardon for trespassing upon the time of the House.